(Photo by Mark Goldman/Icon Sportswire)
We featured the Top 25 Catchers, Top 30 First Basemen, Top 30 Second Basemen, Top 30 Shortstops, Top 30 Third Basemen, Top 30 Outfielders, and Top 60 Outfielders in dynasty leagues so far this week — today, day eight will round out the outfield as we hit the deep recesses of the outfield. Prepare for prospects. Tomorrow we’ll begin Starting Pitchers.
Tier Nine: Talking to the Moon
Tier Ten: Runaway Baby
Tier Eleven: Treasure
72. Jesus Sanchez (P) (Tampa Bay Rays, 20)
75. Michael Taylor (Washington Nationals, 26)
78. Jo Adell (P) (Lost Angeles Angels, 18)
Tier Twelve: Liquor Store Blues
82. Avisail Garcia (Chicago White Sox, 26)
84. Carlos Gonzalez (Colorado Rockies, 32)
87. Leody Tavares (P) (Texas Rangers, 19)
Way Too Deep Prospects
I plan on doing three outfield prospects for each of my three outfield articles. The next three I have my eye on but do not own (yet) are: Julio Francisco (Philadelphia Phillies, 19), Fernando Kelli (Chicago Cubs, 19), and Aldenis Sanchez (Tampa Bay Rays, 19).
- Delino DeShields should and will be ranked higher after the first month of the season. I had prepared my initial rankings several weeks ago (pre-ST) and had not taken the time to update them based on Spring Training developments. DeShields getting named leadoff and starting centerfielder has given new life to DeShields fantasy value. DeShields is only 25 and has the potential for 40 stolen bases (with an average that won’t kill you) – with assured playing time, at the top of a decent Rangers lineup, I’d buy somewhere in the mid to low 40s. High ceiling, low floor.
- Aaron Hicks despite his Jekyll and Hyde splits last season (ended mercifully by injury) makes for an interesting low-end option moving forward. Hicks is expected to be an everyday player with the potential for a 20/20 season and an above-average batting average. If he can replicate his first-half success, he will rocket up my rankings. I give some pause given he is his 10 steals came with 5 caught stealing and a pedestrian hard contact rate of 30.8%. Not elite and barely above average, Hicks still could deliver.
- Stephen Piscotty impressively improved his walk rate to 13% while lowering his average to .235. Mystifyingly, a drop in power was the biggest knock against Piscotty’s season, in other regards, his metrics remained consistent between 2016 and 2017. A similar on-base percentage (.343/.342), hard contact rate (31.1%/32.7%), and strikeout rate (20.5%/21.7%). Its hard to expect that his 2016 power will return, but I would expect him to return closer to his 2016 self than his 2017. Whether that means he possesses any fantasy value remains to be seen.
- I view Cristian Pache as an Ender Inciarte clone. He won’t hit for much power (still waiting for that first home run) but will steal 25+ bags while hitting close to .300. He played the 2017 season while still only 18 years old — he will continue to improve on his plate discipline, I view Pache as a high-floor prospect add.
- Both Jahmai Jones and Jo Adell have the potential to be 5-tool fantasy contributors in the outfield. I ranked Jones ahead of Adell purely based on his 2017 gains, a full minor league season from Adell coupled with Adell’s pedigree may inevitably push him higher.
- Avisail Garcia is 82 because his strongest asset in 2017 was his batting average (.330), something he is unlikely to replicate with a league-leading .392 batting average on balls in play. I think we see an improved version in that he hits in the .260’s – while Garcia beat the system in 2017, expect a quick regression in 2018 and with under 20 home runs and a handful of steals, you can do better than Avisail Garcia.
- Ben Palmer wrote a great article on why Carlos Gonzalez isn’t “dead.” I agree with his assessment, at least in the 2018 season (I plan to own shares in redrafts) — but only playing on a one-year deal and on a team stacked with up-and-coming talent in the outfield (at age 32) sets his long-term value pretty low. Gonzalez’s current value after last season is nil and if you need a short-term flyer, you could do worse than Gonzalez.
- A player I do think is dead both in the short-term and in dynasty is Andrew McCutchen. He was 11/16 in stolen bases last season (and 6/13 in 2016) and moving to a park the most unfavorable park in 2017 for home runs. At 31 years old, McCutchen has little working in his favor. He historically supplemented his batting average with speed, making a return to a .300 batting average unlikely. McCutchen will be a sub-par contributor across the board.
I’ll be making notes in each of my rankings for players/situations/choices worth noting — if there is something specific you wish to discuss regarding the ranks — drop a comment.